Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Trucking by Water!" Container Port revisited.

Stas Margaronis did a presentation about the possibility of "Short Sea Shipping" in the form of a new 4,000 ton Container Ship that would cost about 30 million dollars shipping containers from Stockton to Eureka. Currently there are about 400 trucks from Stockton area distribution plants travelling to Eureka. And about 200 local trucks heading to Stockton. Stas said that the turnaround time for his concept was 25 hours and all those trucks could be replaced by this Ship that would travel to our port 2 times a week. This would actualize a 66% reduction in emissions compared to trucks. Also there is cost savings. It costs $1,500 per truck to haul goods from Stockton, compared to $1,100 by ship. A saving of $400 a load!

Currently there is a successful pilot project working from Oakland to Stockton that travels 75 miles. Stockton to Eureka would be around 300 miles.

There were arguments in the room about the use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) use of the ship over the use of diesel fuel.

Financial obstacles were also identified. 15 million for container dock with 7 acres upland properties for temporary storage. All together Stas felt it would probably initially take a 60 million dollar investment. He felt a joint partnership between the Port of Stockton and Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District would be mutually profitable.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BST Train Feasibility presentation tonight!

The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District will be hosting a East/West/North/South Rail Analysis presentation by BST engineering out of the state of Washington. At Woodley Island. Meeting starts at 7pm and the presentation is at the end of the agenda.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Worst songs you probably heard of!

I am a self-avowed radio channel surfer and many times I will turn to songs that I will quickly change to the next when these songs come up. Some are older and some newer. Links for them are here on my blog.  
10. "Macarena"  Los Del Rio-Can’t turn it off fast enough!
9. "Hollaback Girls"  Gwen Stephanie. I loved early Gwen, this one is just irritating.
8. "Rumour has it" Adele-Love some of her stuff but this just bugs me. Make the skin crawl.  
7. "Ebony and Ivory"  McCartney and Jackson-I don’t know who thought this would be a good idea, it was not.
6. "My Humps"  Black Eyed Peas-Really. Have you ever listened to this? Unbearable.
5. "Your having my baby" Paul Anka-Didn’t anybody tell Paul this would be the cheesiest of songs of all time?
4. "Seasons in the sun" Terry Jacks-Will change the channel every time this comes on. And this made it to #1?
3. "My Sharona"  The Knack-When Robin and I first got married our new neighbors played this full blast for what seemed months! Ironically their next door neighbor ended up touring with Rush with an opening band called the Boogies.
2. "Hotel California" Eagles-I just don’t get their appeal overall.
1. "The Joker" Steve Miller- I pretty much could have put any Steve Miller Band song here. I hate em all.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

North Coast Rail Authority meeintg July 2013

The first order of business was the appointments of the new Directors to NCRA committees. Alex Stillman and I were appointed to the Finance Committee. Alex was also appointed to the Properties Committee.  

Next up was a Resolution supporting CalTrout Fisheries Restoration of Bridge Creek, which is about 12 miles south of Scotia.  The removal of rails was not a big issue since that part of the line had “Blown Out.” Restoration preemption was also a big issue. North Western Pacific company (NWPco) operator John Williams said he was in favor of an excursion train with this rail line. After much discussion and amendments to resolution the item passed unanimously 9-0.

CalTrout’s second Resolution concerned Restoration of Woodman Creek near Laytonville.  The 200ft of rail that was proposed to be removed is classified as “active railroad.” NCRA project engineer Dave Anderson pointed out that obstacles were in the 29 miles between Willits and Woodman Creek that needed to be addressed, namely:
14 slides
 6 tunnels
22 bridges

The project is well isolated and far into the future. In both restoration cases it was pointed out that this would help mitigate the issues for the future use of the rail, so why not address this now? Operator John Williams said that “money is the root of this issue!” He said he would support the project if it was well defined. He also pointed out that the 1 million dollar estimate for the replacement bridge would likely be 7-10 million and that the project would affect 2,000ft and not 200ft. The resolution with amendment’s passed unanimously 9-0.  
Last conduct of business for the day was whether to approve an agreement with Parallel Infrastructure (PI) to audit the Rail Line for Right of Ways (ROW) and to identify encroachments.  Passed unanimously 9-0.
NWPco Operator John Williams announced that the company has survived 2 years of rail service. He said the Federal Rail Authority had removed the Emergency Order from the rail also.  So far there is 62 miles of service in Marin and Sonoma Counties. He passed out pictures of rail and passenger cars delivering 500 passengers to Sears Point Raceway. He was proud to point out that there have been no injuries on the rail line. He was still hoping for TIGER grant funding to help completion of rail line to Cloverdale.
Oh yeah, by the way, the NCRA is broke. That was pointed out repeatedly during the meeting. Hope this last meeting won't literally be the last!